Recently in Meat and Stews
Thursday, June 20, 2013

vietnamese pork chops

Vietnamese pork chops #latergram #vscocam #privatechefmonth

A few things here that I want to say real fast before work swallows me whole for the day.

1. I’m sorry for posting traif. While we’re not exactly a kosher household, pork rarely makes it on our plates save for bacon and prosciutto, aka, “meat candy”.

2. Andrew and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary, and I guess we’re no longer newlyweds, except I refuse to believe it and whenever someone tries to inform me of the actual time frame that defines the term, I just put hands over my ears and sing myself a song. Despite the insane amount of work on my plate, I vowed (the day before our anniversary, as Sunday was my private chef day) to not even think about work for a day, and that’s exactly what we did, spent a whole day hanging out in the city eating oysters and farmer’s market strawberries. It was swell.

3. Two days ago I worked out next to Jaime Lannister, aka dreamboat Nikolai Coster-Waldau, and almost fell off my treadmill due to excitement.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

agrodolce meatballs

Meatballs for my client. Just wait til you read about it. No tomato sauce in sight. #latergram #nofilter

Greetings from the land of overbooked and overextended. Somehow, the end of May and the month of June have managed to shape themselves into something far more demanding than the sum of its parts. There’s work here, and work there, and work seemingly seeping out of every crevice I happen upon. This might sound like complaining, but it’s far from it – a few short months ago I was growing increasingly listless and anxious about not having enough to do, so having too much on my plate is arguably better. Still, some things must take priority and others less so, which is why instead of a picture of finished meatballs, you get an iPhone photo of the ones in the process of browning. To be honest, since I cooked a week’s worth of dinners that day, I just forgot to take a picture. Also, below is a random picture of mirepoix cooking. Aaaaaand you’re welcome for that one!

As I mentioned in my last post, I managed to pick up a private chef gig for the month of June. The upside is that my client eats almost everything – which makes cooking actually fun. But still, there’s quite a bit of work involved: from menu-planning, shopping for ingredients, prep, actual cooking, and to the dreaded clean-up. By the time I was done with this first week’s worth of meals, the kitchen looked like a small battle took place there, and I had to resort to Brillo pads and good old elbow grease to put the kitchen back together the way I found it. It took awhile.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

skirt steak with buttered radishes + giveaway!

skirt steak with buttered radishes

Hi, friends. Today, let’s talk to one another, frankly, about money. Or rather how we worry about money in this economy; and let’s face it — most of us, in some way or another, have worried about money at some point especially since 2008. Am I right?

Money conversations are never fun and are almost always awkward. I’m not sure why, but in our culture, money conversations are considered bad form. We can talk about income disparity, socio-economics, income levels, but when the matter of personal income is concerned, the conversation pretty much stops.

But it would be unfair to write about food, eating well, shopping at farmers’ markets, seeking out the best ingredients, and not, implicitly, bring up money. No one’s going to give you a dozen eggs for free, never mind a dozen eggs from fancy hens with their own names. Ramps and fiddlehead ferns (the trendy darlings of spring) aren’t cheap. Go to the farmer’s market in mid-August and try to buy a few tomatoes – they’ll cost you.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

bratwurst, cabbage, and sauerkraut

brats, cabbage, sauerkraut (and beer)

This, above, might not look like much: bratwurst with cabbage looks humble enough, but let me tell you – it’s something, all right. On a cold February night accompanied by freezing rain, I can’t think of more satisfying dinner. Also, feel free to file this under “Crap, it’s [fill in the day of the week] night, the fridge is empty, and there’s no dinner plan” kind of a meal. Happens in this household more often than I like to admit. And also a random but important aside (and please tell me if I’m alone in this): on the worst kind of nights, the kind where there’s bitter winds and cold rain or sleet, I am loathe to call for take-out because (and follow me here a moment) I feel badly about sending the delivery guys out in this weather delivering my food. I worry that they might get sick and there’s no health insurance; I fret over the fact that people’s driving is more erratic when there is bad weather and the delivery guys might get into an accident. I know my logic is flawed (by not ordering I am costing them income), and when we do order in on such nights, we tip extra for the delivery guys’ effort, but still, the pang of guilt in making them go out into the elements – I feel it every time.

Bratwurst served with sauerkraut is, I’m told, a very common thing in Germany. It’s hearty, hardy fare, downright pedestrian if you think about it; honest cooking without much cooing or pretense. It’s meant to warm you right down to your bones and fill your belly, and goes down beautifully with a pint of beer. Right about now I might crave Florida sunshine, a pool, and an umbrella drink, but for this, friends, you need the all the misery of the Northeast February (or anywhere where it’s cold) with all its inglorious freeze to fully appreciate what visually doesn’t, in the least bit, look arresting.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

coconut chicken curry

thai chicken curry

Sometimes what I cook has a good story behind it: maybe a memory or funny turn of events. Today, I have Coconut Chicken Curry for you and no great story, which kind of poses a problem. How do you introduce a recipe? What was it that caught my eye?

Simply put, I saw the recipe in the most recent Bon Appetit, made some tweaks, and after we finished licking our dinner plates clean that night, decided it made for a perfect weeknight meal. You can come from work in the evening and put it together in about thirty minutes, which for a school night dinner, isn’t bad. In the time that you could order and have delivered Thai take-out, you could make this curry. It’s also nice that this is a one-pot meal, as lately, my cooking endeavors have taken me into the “get every pot dirty” territory: a fun experiment that makes me feel like a restaurant chef while I am cooking, that ceases to be fun when you spend what feels like an eternity cleaning those pots.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

kimchi chili

The remains of the pretzel croissant is always a very sad sight.

Hi, friends. I have a chili recipe for you today* — and then I’m off to San Francisco. Andrew is attending the biggest earth science conference and I’m tagging along with my own list of to do’s. I hope to come back with a full report of new, awesome things I’ve discovered. And I’m taking not one but two cameras with me.

The chili today is slightly different: it’s kimchi chili. Some of you might have gasped in horror, and some of you might have gotten really excited. Chili purists will probably give me a wag of the finger. I’m not sorry.

You might have heard on the interwebs or Twitters or Facebooks that a book that I co-authored came out last Tuesday. It’s funny to have to tell people about a book you wrote that’s on a subject that still requires plenty of explanation.

“You wrote a book on what?? Kim-what??”

“Kimchi.”

“Oh, what is that?”

“Well, it’s a Korean way of fermenting produce to preserve it.”

“Is it spicy?”

“It can be but it doesn’t have to be. It’s very flavorful.”

“Well, I’m probably not going to like it then. I don’t like anything spicy. Or anything that smells funny.”

Yes, folks, those are actual conversations I’ve had (as in many conversations). And it always delights me when, on a rare chance, I hear, “I looooove kimchi. I’ve been playing around with making it at home.”

Honestly, just having to not explain what kimchi is, is a joy in and of itself.

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